The Steam Deck beta update includes more fan curve improvements

The May 19th Steam OS 3.2 Beta Patch Notes for the Steam Deck speak of a greatly improved fan curve, among other handy updates to the device’s HUD, audio, and other game-specific fixes. It comes alongside other updates to Valve’s Proton Experimental, which is slowly adding compatibility with a boatload of games for the Linux-based handheld gaming device.

We previously reported that the deck’s fan wasn’t necessarily loud, but the pitch was unbearable. So much so that we even saw people send theirs back to Valve for an RMA until Valve finally managed to get it under wraps.

Rather than iFixit having to resort to selling replacement fans for the deck, Valve developers went through the code and instead implemented a software-based fix, added an “OS-driven fan curve to improve the experience in low-usage scenarios, and adjusted.” how the fan responds to different scenarios and temperatures.”

When we tested their latest solution, we found that not only did it improve the deck’s fan whine by 10x, but it also kept temperatures at reasonable levels even under full load.

Since yesterday’s update to Steam OS 3.2, Valve has continued to make improvements to the fan curve, which the company says is now “smarter, more stable, and overall quieter.” We’ll update this post as soon as we get a chance to test exactly how much, not that we have a specific test for “smarter”.

This all comes with improvements to the HUD, which now shows a more accurate VRAM gauge. We’re also seeing some great improvements to the deck’s audio, such as: a fixed gain stage, which should help minimize noise and distortion. That’ll be a big help now that you can turn the volume up even louder than before, and for anyone who’s experienced white noise when connecting certain headsets via a 3.5mm jack, that should all be cleared up now.

Gaming On Linux also outlines a recent enhancement to the Proton Experimental software, which includes five new games added to the playable games list; Improvements to FFXIV online launcher, Street Fighter V FPS in online matches, and controller support for mini ninjas; among other improvements.

So far, Valve is delivering on its promise to ensure the Steam Deck is constantly being improved, and hopefully it will continue the good work. At least if they can incorporate it while working on Half Life 3…

Sorry, please don’t get your hopes up.

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